October 2017 Discussion (Don’t Go in the Old Greene House, A Very Very VERY Scary House, Guilded Youth)

Our games this month were ‘Don’t go in the Old Greene House‘ by Laura Knetzger, ‘A Very Very VERY Scary House‘ by Anna Anthropy (illustrated by Shelley Hu), and ‘Guilded Youth‘ by Jim Munroe and Matt Hammill.

This month we’re trying a new discussion format inna podcast style. Discussion guests this month are Kevin Snow and Priscilla Snow. Kevin+Priscilla have collaborated on interactive fiction for a few years now, creating The Domovoi, Beneath Floes, and The Relief of Impact. They’re working now on a game called Southern Monsters, which we talk about in relation to this month’s games.

Download mp3.

Thanks to Kevin+Priscilla for the interesting conversation & hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments!

2 thoughts on “October 2017 Discussion (Don’t Go in the Old Greene House, A Very Very VERY Scary House, Guilded Youth)”

  1. In A Very Very VERY Scary House, I found myself invested on that choice in the beginning for which mystery you wanna solve, even knowing it made no difference on what happened. I got to the point with the old woman in the kitchen expecting to find the mysterious bones I was hoping for, cause y’know broth made of bones, and the ending with the toe in the soup got me by surprise. I mean it should’ve been obvious because it’s such a classic halloweeny trope, but I felt invested enough in MY mystery that I hoped for it. I knew what I’d get is caused by a bunch of seemingly disconnected choices, yet I couldn’t help but try for a desired result, like making a call between 1 and 6 and casting a die. I wonder what playing with a buddy is like for this one.

    Kevin mentioned the white background in Don’t Go In The Greene House and it’s general inviting-ness, I didn’t think much of it when I played but now I can’t stop thinking about how subtle and confident that decision is for a horror game. For all the cool ghost designs and death scenes, there’s the good amount of sensitivity given towards its heavier themes, even in little things like that. The choices you can make that involve you being an idiot or jerk will usually get you killed, driving home that this is a story about being responsible when no one else will be; the ability to be cruel is nothing special in the Greene House. Another choice though, when Madison asks Lisa if you cried about the abortion, is such a masterful way of putting you in Lisa’s shoes, making you consider how guilt would affect YOU over meaningless good/bad binary. I think the ending makes it clear that that’s Knetzger’s main aim. My thoughts are kind of loose, there’s just so many things in this game I love, like knowing the deal with Lisa makes certain things stand out on a replay, like the bit when Madison talks about how a womb can’t be a house, and Lisa agrees…man.

    The way to the endings in Gilded Youth is probably as annoying as it is to make it a significant choice. You CANNOT save in that game (though you get a message about how you don’t have to because its short, if you don’t care about replaying a 10 min game alot to get all the endings this may not matter but I could only play it twice -_-), putting the big choice at the end will make it seem more like a permanent choice. It’s not like AVVVSC where you should replay it alot to find all these alternate universes with little connection between them. And you can’t save near the end like many big AAA games let you do, making the choice feel empty. I think it thematically makes sense as looking back on childhood, looking back on the dumb fun stuff you did with no takebacks. As difficult as the parser stuff can be, it also fits not only for the BBS parts, but for blurring the line between BBS and reality.

    What endings did you guys decide on for GY and is there anything interesting you found in them? I got Chris first then Ryan… I wonder if you can get Harry, I would think Max blows him up before you get the chance.

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  2. Hi just wanted to thank you for this discussion and for organizing this “club”. I have been wanting to begin familiarizing with text games and I find it really helpful not only to have a sort of curated selection of these games but to listen to discussion about them. Helps develop insights or refine thoughts that I wouldnt normally be able to fully form as I am new to the medium. Looking forward to next months!

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